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Full text of ""'Tis sixty years since"; address of Charles Francis Adams, Founders' day, January 16, 1913, University of South Carolina"

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'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 



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'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE 



ADDRESS OF 

CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS 



FOUNDERS' DAY, January i6, 19 13 



UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA 



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 
1913 

AU rights reserved 

lit « /,n ' 



COPYBIGHT, 1913, 

By the MACMILLAN COMPANY. 



Set up and electrotyped. Published Man A, 1913. 



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"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

In the single hour self-allotted for my part in this 
occasion there is much ground to cover, — the time is 
short, and I have far to go. Did I now, therefore, sub- 
mit aU I had proposed to say when I accepted your 
invitation, there would remain no space for prelimi- 
naries. Yet something of that character is in place. 
I will try to make it brief.^ 

As the legend or text of what I have in mind to sub- 
mit, I have given the words "'Tis Sixty Years Since." 
As some here doubtless recall, this is the second or sub- 
ordinate title of Walter Scott's first novel, "Waverley," 
which brought him fame. Given to the world in 1814, 
— hard on a century ago, — "Waverley" told of the last 
Stuart effort to recover the crown of Great Britain, — 
that of "The '45." It so chances that Scott's period of 
retrospect is also just now most appropriate in my case, 
inasmuch as I entered Harvard as a student in the year 
1853 — "sixty years since! " It may fairly be asserted 
that school life ends, and what may in contradistinction 
thereto be termed thinking and acting life begins, the 

^ Owing to its length, this " Address " was compressed in delivery, 
occup3dng one hour only. It is here printed in the form in which it was 
prepared, — the parts omitted in delivery being included. 



2 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

day the young man passes the threshold of the insti- 
tution of more advanced education. For him, life's 
responsibilities then begin. Prior to that confused, 
thenceforth things with him become consecutive, — a 
sequence. Insensibly he puts away childish things. 

In those days, as I presimie now, the college youth 
barkened to inspired voices. Sir Walter Scott belonged to 
a previous generation. Having held the close attention 
of a delighted world as the most successful story-teUer 
of his own or any preceding period, he had passed off the 
stage; but only a short twenty years before. Other voices 
no less inspired had followed; and, living, spoke to us. 
Perhaps my scheme to-day is best expressed by one of 
these. 

When just beginning to attract the attention of the 
EngUsh-speaking world, Alfred Tennyson gave forth 
his poem of "Locksley HaU," — very familiar to those 
of my younger days. Written years before, at the time 
of pubUcation he was thirty-three. In 1886, a man of 
seventy-five, he composed a sequel to his earlier effort, 

— the utterance entitled "Locksley Hall Sixty Years 
After." He then, you ystU remember, reviewed his 
young man's dreams, — dreams of the period when he 

". . . dip't into the future, far as human eye could see. 
Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be," 

— threescore years later contrasting in sombre verse 
an old man's stern realities with the bright anticipa- 
tions of youth. Such is my purpose to-day. "Wan- 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 3 

dering back to living boyhood," to the time when I first 
simultaneously passed the Harvard threshold and the 
threshold of responsible life, I propose to compare the 
ideals and actualities of the present with the ideals, 
anticipations and dreams of a past now somewhat remote. 

To say that in life and in the order of Hfe's events it 
is the imexpected which is apt to occur, is a commonplace. 
That it has been so in my own case, I shall presently 
show. Meanwhile, not least among the unexpected 
things is my presence here to-day. If, when I entered 
Harvard in 1853, it had been suggested that in 1913, 1, — 
bom of the New England Sanhedrim, a Brahmin Yankee 
by blood, tradition and environment — had it been sug- 
gested that I, being such, would sixty years later stand 
by invitation here in Columbia before the faculty and 
students of the University of South Carolina, I should 
imder circmnstances then existing have pronounced the 
suggestion as beyond reasonable credence. Here, how- 
ever, I am; and here, from this as my rostnun, I propose 
to-day to deliver a message, — such as it is. 

And yet, though such a future outcome, if then fore- 
told, would have seemed scarcely possible of occurrence, 
there, after aU, were certain conditions which would 
have rendered the contingency even at that time not only 
possible, but in accordance with the everlasting fitness of 
things. For, curiously enough, personal relations of a 
certain character held with this institution wotdd have 
given me, even in 1853, a sense of acquaintance with it 



4 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

such as individually I had with no other institution of 
similar character throughout the entire land. It in this 
wise came about. At that period, preceding as it did the 
deluge about to ensue, it was the hereditary custom of 
certain families more especially of South Carolina and of 
Louisiana, — but of South Carolina in particular — to 
send their youth to Harvard, there to receive a college 
education. It thus chanced that among my associates 
at Harvard were not a few who bore names long famil- 
iarly and honorably known to Carolinian records, — 
Barnwell and Preston, Rhett and Alston, Parkman and 
Eliot ; and among these were some I knew well, and even 
intimately. Gone now with the generation and even 
the civilization to which they belonged, I doubt if any of 
them survive. Indeed only recently I chanced on a grimly 
suggestive mention of one who had left on me the memory 
of a character and personality singularly pure, high- 
toned and manly, — permeated with a sense of moral 
and personal obligation. I have always understood he 
died five years later at Sharpsburg, as you call it, or 
Antietam, as it was named by us, in face-to-face conflict 
with a Massachusetts regiment largely ofl&cered by Har- 
vard men of his time and even class, — his own familiar 
friends. This is the record, the reference being to a mar- 
riage service held at St. Paul's church in Richmond, 
in the late autumn of 1862 : "An indefinable feeling 
of gloom was thrown over a most auspicious event when 
the bride's youngest sister glided through a side door 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 5 

just before the processional. Tottering to a chancel pew, 
she threw herself upon the cushions, her slight frame 
racked with sobs. Scarcely a year before, the weddmg 
march had been played for her, and a joyous throng 
saw her wedded to gallant Breck Parkman. Before 
another twelvemonth rolled around the groom was kUled 
at the front." ^ Samuel Breck Parkman was in the 
Harvard class following that to which I belonged. Grad- 
uating in 1857, fifty-five years later I next saw his name 
in the connection just given. It recorded an incident of 
not infrequent occurrence in those dark and cruel days. 

It was, however, in Breck Parkman and his like that 
I first became conscious of certain phases of the South 
Carolina character which subsequently I learned to bear 
in high respect. 

So far as this University of South Carolina was con- 
cerned, it also so chanced that, by the merest accident, 
I, a very young man, was thrown into close personal 
relations with one of the most eminent of your professors, 
— Francis Lieber. Few here, I suppose, now personally 
remember Francis Lieber. To most it gives indeed 
a certain sense of remoteness to meet one who, as in my 
case, once held close and even intimate relations with a 
German emigrant, distinguished as a pubHcist, who as a 
youth had lain, wovmded and helpless, a Prussian recruit, 
on the field above Namur. Occurring in June, 1815, 
two days after Waterloo, the affair at Namur wiU soon 

* DeLeon, " Belles, Beaux and Brains of the Sixties," p. 158. 



6 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

be a century gone. Of those engaged in it, the last 
obeyed the fell sergeant's siunmons a half score years 
ago. It seems remote ; but at the time of which I speak 
Waterloo was appreciably nearer those in active life than 
are Shiloh and Gettysburg now. The Waterloo campaign 
was then but thirty-eight years removed, whereas those 
last are fifty now ; and, while Lieber was at Waterloo, I 
was myself at Gettysburg. 

Subsequently, later in life, it was again my privilege 
to hold close relations with another Colvimbian, — an 
alumnus of this University as it then was — in whom I 
had opportimity to study some of the strongest and most 
respect-commanding traits of the Southern character. 
I refer to one here freshly remembered, — Alexander 
Cheves Haskell, — soldier, jurist, banker and scholar, 
one of a septet of brothers sent into the field by a South 
Carolina mother calm and tender of heart, but in silent 
suffering imsurpassed by any recorded in the annals 
whether of Judea or of Rome. It was the fourth of the 
seven HaskeUs I knew, one typical throughout, in my 
beUef, of what was best in your Carolinian development. 
With him, as I have said, I was closely and even intimately 
associated through years, and in him I had occasion to 
note that ahnost austere type represented in its highest 
development in the person and attributes of Calhoun. 
Of strongly marked descent, Haskell was, as I have al- 
ways supposed, of a family and race in which could be ob- 
served those virile Scotch-Irish and Presbyterian quali- 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 7 

ties which found their representative tj^pes in the two 
Jacksons, — Andrew, and him known in history as "Stone- 
wall." To Alec Haskell I shall in this discourse again 
have occasion to refer. 

Thus, though in 1853, and for long years subsequent 
thereto, it would not have entered my mind as among the 
probabilities that I should ever stand here, reviewing the 
past after the manner of Tennyson in his "Locksley HaU 
Sixty Years After," yet if there was any place in the 
South, or, I may say, in the entire country, where, as a 
matter of association, I might natiurally have looked so 
to stand, it would have been where now I find myself. 

But I must hasten on; for, as I have said, if I am to 
accomplish even a part of my purpose, I have no time 
wherein to linger. 

Not long ago I chanced, in a country ramble, to be 
conversing with an eminent foreigner, known, and favor- 
ably known, to all Americans. In the course of leisurely 
exchange of ideas between us, he suddenly asked if I 
could suggest any explanation of the fact that not only 
were the pubUcists who had the greatest vogue in our 
college days now to a large extent discredited, but that 
almost every view and theory advanced by them, and 
which we had accepted as fixed and settled, was, where 
not actually challenged, silently ignored. Nor did the 
assertion admit of denial ; for, looking back through the 
vista of threescore years, of the principles of what may 
be called "pubKc pohty " then advanced as indisputable, 



8 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

few to-day meet with general acceptance. To review 
the record from this point of view is curious. 

When in 1853 I entered Harvard, so far as this countiy 
and its poUty were concerned certain things were matters 
of contention, while others were accepted as axiomatic, — 
the basic truths of our system. Among the former — 
the subjects of active contention — were the question 
of Slavery, then grimly assuming shape, and that of 
Nationality intertwined therewith. Subordinate to this 
was the issue of Free Trade and Protection, with the school 
of so-called American pohtical economy arrayed against 
that of Adam Smith. Beyond these as poUtical ideals 
were the tenets and theories of Jeffersonian Democracy. 
That the world had heretofore been governed too much 
was loudly acclaimed, and the largest possible individual- 
ism was preached, not only as a privilege but as a right. 
The area of government action was to be confined within 
the narrowest practical limits, and ample scope was to 
be allowed to each to develop in the way most natural 
to himself, provided only he did not infringe upon the 
rights of others. Materially, we were then reaching 
out to subdue a continent, — a doctrine of Manifest 
Destiny was in vogue. Beyond this, however, and most 
important now to be borne in mind, compared with the 
present the control of man over natural agencies and latent 
forces was scarcely begun. Not yet had the railroad 
crossed the Missouri; electricity, just bridled, was still 
unharnessed. 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" g 

I have now passed in rapid review what may perhaps 
without exaggeration be referred to as an array of condi- 
tions and theories, ideals and poUcies. It remains to 
refer to the actual results which have come about during 
these sixty years as respects them, or because of them; 
and, finally, to reach if possible conclusions as to the 
causes which have affected what may not inaptly be 
termed a process of general evolution. Having thus, so 
to speak, diagnosed the situation, the changes the situation 
exacts are to be measured, and a forecast [ventured. An 
ambitious programme, I am well enough aware that the not 
very considerable reputation I have established for my- 
self hardly warrants me in attempting it. This, I 
premise. 

Let us, in the first place, recur in somewhat greater 
detail to the various policies and ideals I have referred 
to as in vogue in the year 1853. 

First and foremost, overshadowing all else, was the 
poHtical issue raised by African slavery, then ominously 
assuming shape. The clouds foreboding the coming tem- 
pest were gathering thick and heavy ; and, moreover, they 
were even then illumined by electric flashes, accompanied 
by a mutter of distant thimder. Though we of the North 
certainly did not appreciate its gravity, the situation 
was portentous in the extreme. 

Involved in this problem of African slavery was the 
incidental issue of Free Trade and Protection, — ap- 
parently only economical and industrial in character, but 



lO "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

in reality fundamentally crucial. And behind this lay 
the constitutional question, involving as it did not only 
the conflicting theories of a strict or liberal construction 
of the fimdamental law, but nationality also, — the right 
of a Sovereign State to withdraw from the Union created 
in 1787, and developed through two generations. 

These may be termed concrete political issues, as op- 
posed to basic truths generally accepted and theories 
individually entertained. The theories were constitu- 
tional, social, economical. Constitutionally, they turned 
upon the obligations of citizenship. There was no such 
thing then as a citizen of the United States of and by it- 
self. The citizen of the United States was such simply 
because of his citizenship of a Sovereign State, — whether 
Massachusetts or Virginia or South Carolina; and, of 
course, an instrument based upon a divided sovereignty 
admitted of almost infinitely diverse interpretation. 
It is a scriptural aphorism that no man can serve two 
masters; for either he wiU hate the one and love the 
other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the 
other. And in the fulness of time it literally with us 
so came about. The accepted economical theories of 
the period were to a large extent corollaries of the 
fundamental proposition, and differing material and 
social conditions. Beyond aU this, and coming stUl 
under the head of individual theories, was the doc- 
trine enunciated by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration 
of Independence, — the doctrine that all men were created 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" ii 

equal, — meaning, of course, equal before the law. But 
the theorist and humanitarian of the North, accepting 
the fxmdamental principle laid down in the Declaration, 
gave to it a far wider appUcation than had been intended 
by its authors, — a breadth of application it would not 
bear. Such science as he had being of scriptural origin, 
he iQterpreted the word "equal" as signifjdng equal in 
the possibilities of their attributes, — physical, moral, 
intellectual; and in so doing, he of course ignored the 
first principles of ethnology. It was, I now realize, a 
somewhat wild-eyed school of philosophy, that of which I 
myself was a youthful disciple. 

But, on the other hand, beside these, between 1850 
and i860 a class of trained and more cautious thinkers, 
observers, scientists and theologians was coming to the 
front. Their investigations, though we did not then 
foresee it, were a generation later destined gently to sub- 
vert the accepted fundamentals of reUgious and economi- 
cal thought, literary performance, and material existence. 
The work they had in hand to do was for the next fifteen 
years to be subordinate, so far as this coimtry was con- 
cerned, to the solution of the terrible poUtical problems 
which were first insistent on settlement ; yet, as is now 
apparent, an initial movement was on foot which fore- 
boded a revolution world-wide in its nature, and one in 
comparison with which the issues of slavery and American 
constitutionality became practically insignificant, — in 
a word, local and passing incidents. 



12 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

Finally, it remaias to consider specifically the political 
theories then in vogue in their relation to the individual. 
In this country, it was the period of the equality of man 
and individuality in the development of the type. It 
was generally believed that the world had hitherto been 
governed too much, — that the day of caste, and even 
class, was over and gone ; and finally, that America was 
a species of vast modem melting-pot of humanity, in 
which, within a comparatively short period of time, the 
characteristics of all branches of Indo- Aryan origin would 
resolve themselves. A new t37pe would emerge, — the 
American. These theories were also in their consequences 
far-reaching. Practically, 1853 antedates all our present 
industrial organizations so loudly in evidence, — the 
multifarious trades-imions which now divide the popula- 
tion of the United States into what are known as the 
"masses" and the "classes." As recently as a century 
ago, it used to be said of the French army under the Em- 
pire, that every soldier carried the baton of the Field- 
Marshal in his knapsack. And this ideal of equality and 
individuality was fixed in the American mind. 

Not that I for a moment mean to imply that in my 
behef the middle of the last century, or the twenty years 
anterior to the Civil War, was a species of golden age in 
our American annals. On the contrary, it was, as I 
remember it, a phase of development very open to criti- 
cism; and that in many respects. It was crude, self- 
conscious and self-assertive; provincial and formative, 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 13 

rather than formed. Socially and materially we were, 
compared with the present era of motors and parlor-cars, 
in the "one-hoss shay" and stove-heated railroad-coach 
stage. Nevertheless, what is now referred to as "preda- 
tory wealth" had not yet begun to accumulate ia few 
hands; much greater equality of condition prevailed; 
nor was the "wage-earner" referred to as constituting 
a class distinct from the holders of property. Thus the 
individual was then encouraged, — whether in literature, 
in commerce, or in politics. In other words, there being 
a free field, one man was held to be in all respects the 
equal of the rest. Especially was what I have said true 
of the Northern, or so-caUed Free States, as contrasted 
with the States of the South, where the presence of 
African slavery distinctly affected individual theories, no 
matter where or to what extent entertained. 

Such, briefly and comprehensively stated, having been 
the situation in 1853, it remains to consider the practical 
outcome thereof during the sixty years it has been my 
fortime to take part, either as an actor or as an observer, 
in the great process of evolution. It is curious to note 
the extent to which the unexpected has come about. In 
the first place, consider the all-absorbing mid-century 
political issue, that involving the race question, to which I 
first referred, — the issue which divided the South from 
the North, and which, eight years only after I had entered 
coUege, carried me from the walks of civil life into the 
calling of arms. 



14 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

And here I enter on a field of discussion both difficult 
and dangerous ; and, for reasons too obvious to require 
statement, what I am about to say will be listened to with 
no inconsiderable apprehension as to what next may be 
forthcoming. Nevertheless, this is a necessary part of 
my theme; and I propose to say what I have in mind to 
say, setting forth with all possible frankness the more 
mature conclusions reached with the passage of years. 
Let it be received in the spirit in which it is offered. 

So far, then, as the institution of slavery is concerned, 
in its relations to ownership and property in those of the 
hxmian species, — I have seen no reason whatever to re- 
vise or in any way to alter the theories and principles I 
entertained in 1853, and in the maintenance of which I 
subsequently bore arms between 1861 and 1865. Eco- 
nomically, socially, and from the point of view of abstract 
political justice, I hold that the institution of slavery, 
as it existed in this country prior to the year 1865, was 
in no respect either desirable or justifiable. That it had 
its good and even its elevating side, so far at least as the 
African is concerned, I am not here to deny. On the con- 
trary, I see and recognize those features of the institution 
far more clearly now than I shoidd have said would have 
been possible in 1853. That the institution in itseK, 
under, conditions then existing, tended to the elevation 
of the less advanced race, I frankly admit I did not then 
think. On the other hand, that it exercised a most per- 
nicious influence upon those of the more advanced race, 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 1$ 

and especially upon that large majority of the more ad- 
vanced race who were not themselves owners of slaves, — 
of that I have become with time ever more and more 
satisfied. The noticeable feature, however, so far as I 
individually am concerned, has been the entire change 
of view as respects certain of the fundamental proposi- 
tions at the base of our whole American poUtical and 
social edifice brought about by a more careful and intel- 
ligent ethnological study. I refer to the political equaHty 
of man, and to that race absorption to which I have al- 
luded, — that beUef that any foreign element introduced 
into the American social system and body politic would 
speedily be absorbed therein, and in a brief space thor- 
oughly assimilated. In this aU-important respect I do 
not hesitate to say we theorists and abstractionists of the 
North, throughout that long anti-slavery discussion which 
ended with the 1861 clash of arms, were thoroughly 
wrong. In'utter disregard of ftmdamental, scientific facts, 
we theoretically believed that aU men — no matter what 
might be the color of their skin, or the texture of their 
hair — were, if placed under exactly similar conditions, 
in essentials the same. In other words, we indulged in 
the curious and, as is now admitted, utterly erroneous 
theory that the African was, so to speak, an Anglo-Saxon, 
or, if you will, a Yankee " who had never had a chance," 
— a fellow-man who was guilty, as we chose to express it, 
of a skin not colored like our own. In other words, though 
carved in ebony, he also was in the image of God. 



l6 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

Following out this theory, tinder the lead of men to 
whom scientific analysis and observation were anathema 
if opposed to accepted cardinal political theories as enun- 
ciated in the Declaration as read by them, the African 
was not only emancipated, but so far as the letter of the 
law, as expressed in an amended Constitution, would 
establish the fact, the quondam slave was in all respects 
placed on an equaUty, poUtical, legal and moral, with those 
of the more advanced race. 

I do not hesitate here, — as one who largely entertained 
the theoretical views I have expressed, — I do not hesi- 
tate here to say, as the result of sixty years of more careful 
study and scientific observation, the theories then en- 
tertained by us were not only fundamentally wrong, but 
they further involved a problem in the presence of which 
I confess to-day I stand appalled. 

It is said, — whether truthfully or not, — that when 
some years ago John Morley, the EngHsh writer and 
thinker, was in this country, on returning to England he 
remarked that the African race question, as now existing 
in the United States, presented a problem as nearly, to 
his mind, insoluble as any human problem weU could be. 
I do not care whether Lord Morley made this statement 
or did not make it. I am prepared, however, to say 
that, individually, so far as my present judgment goes, 
it is a correct presentation. To us in the North, the 
African is a comparatively negligible factor. So far as 
Massachusetts, for instance, or the city of Boston more 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 17 

especially, are concerned, as a problem it is solving itself. 
Proportionately, the African infusion is becoming less 
— never large, it is incomparably less now than it was in 
the days of my own youth. Thus manifestly a negligi- 
ble factor, it is also one tending to extinction. Indeed, it 
would be fairly open to question whether a single Afro- 
American of unmixed Ethiopian descent could now be 
foxmd in Boston. That the problem presents itself with 
a whoUy different aspect here in Carolina is manifest. 
The difference too is radical ; it goes to the heart of the 
mystery. 

As I have already said, the universal " melting-pot " 
theory in vogue in my youth was that but seven, or at 
the most fourteen, years were required to convert the 
alien immigrant — no matter from what region or of what 
descent — into an American citizen. The educational influ- 
ences and social environment were assumed to be not only 
subtle, but aU-pervasive and powerful. That this theory 
was to a large and even dangerous extent erroneous the ob- 
servation of the last fifty years has proved, and our Massa- 
chusetts experience is sadly demonstrating to-day. It was 
OUver Wendell Hohnes, who, years ago, when asked by an 
anxious mother at what age the education of a child ought 
to begin, remarked in reply that it should begin about one 
hundred and fifty years before the child is bom. It has so 
proved with us ; and the fact is to-day in evidence that this 
statement of Dr. Holmes should be accepted as an undeni- 
able political aphorism. So far from seven or fourteen years 



l8 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

making an American citizen, fully and thoroughly impreg- 
nated with American ideals to the exclusion of aU others, 
our experience is that it requires at least three generations 
to eliminate what may be termed the "hyphen" in citi- 
zenship. Not in the first, nor in the second, and hardly 
in the third, generation, does the immigrant cease to be 
an Irish-American, or a French-American, or a German- 
American, or a Slavonic-American, or yet a Dago. 
Nevertheless, in process of time, those of the Caucasian 
race do and will become Americans. Ultimately their 
descendants will be free from the traditions and ideals, so 
to speak, groimd in through centuries passed under other 
conditions. Not so the Ethiopian. In his case, we find 
ourselves confronted with a situation never contemplated 
in that era of political dreams and scriptural science in 
which our institutions received shape. Stated tersely 
and in plain language, so far as the African is concerned 
— the cause and, so to speak, the motive of the great 
struggle of 1861 to 1865 — we recognize the presence in 
the body politic of a vast alien mass which does not 
assimilate and which cannot be absorbed. In other 
words, the melting-pot theory came in sharp contact 
with an ethnological fact, and the unexpected occurred. 
The problem of African servitude was solved after a 
fashion; but in place of it a race issue of most uncom- 
promising character evolved itself. 

A survivor of the generation which read "Uncle Tom's 
Cabin " as it week by week appeared, — fresh to-day from 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 19 

Massachusetts with its Lawrence race issues of a different 
character, I feel a sense of satisfaction in discussing here 
in South CaroHna this question and issue in a spirit the 
reverse of dogmatic, a spirit purely scientific, observant 
and s3Tnpathetic. And in this connection let me say I 
well remember repeatedly discussing it with your fellow- 
citizen and my friend. Colonel Alexander Haskell, to 
whom I have already made reference. Rarely have I 
been more impressed by a conclusion reached and fixed 
in the mind of one who to the study of a problem had 
obviously given much and kindly thought. As those 
who knew him do not need to be told, Alexander Cheves 
Haskell was a man of character, pure and just and 
thoughtful. He felt towards the African as only a South- 
erner who had himself never been the owner of slaves 
can feel. He regarded him as of a less advanced race than 
his own, but one who was entitled not only to just and 
kindly treatment but to sympathetic consideration. 
When, however, the question of the future of the Afro- 
American was raised, as matter for abstract discussion, 
it was suggestive as well as curious to observe the fixed, 
hard expression which immediately came over HaskeU's 
face, as with stern lips, from which all suggestion of a 
smile had faded away, he pronoimced the words : — " Sir, 
it is a d)dng race !" To express the thought more fully. 
Colonel Haskell maintained, as I doubt not many who 
now Usten to me will maintain, that the nominal Afro- 
American increase, as shown in the figures of the na- 



20 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

tional census, is deceptive, — that in point of fact, the 
Ethiop in America is incurring the doom which has ever 
befallen those of an inferior and less advanced race when 
brought in direct and immediate contact, necessarily and 
inevitably competitive, with the more advanced, the 
more masterful, and intellectually the more gifted. In 
other words, those of the less advanced race have a fatal 
aptitude for contracting the vices, both moral and physi- 
cal, of the superior race, in the end leading to destruction ; 
while the capacity for assimilating the elevating qualities 
and attributes which constitute a saving grace is denied 
them. Elimination, therefore, became in Haskell's be- 
lief a question of time only, — the law of the survival 
of the fittest would assert itself. The time required 
may be long, — numbered by centvuries ; but, however 
remotely, it nevertheless woidd come. God's mill grinds 
slowly, but it grinds micommon small ; and, I will add, 
its grinding is apt to be merciless. 

The solution thus most pronouncedly laid down by 
Colonel Haskell may or may not prove in this case correct 
and final. It certainly is not for me, coming from the 
North, to imdertake dogmatically to pass upon it. I 
recur to it here as a plausible suggestion only, in connec- 
tion with my theme. As such, it unquestionably merits 
consideration. I am by no means prepared to go the 
length of an EngUsh authority in recently saying that 
"emancipation on two continents sacrificed the real wel- 
fare of the slave and his intrinsic worth as a person, to 



"'TIS} SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 21 

the impatient vanity of an immediate and theatrical 
triumph." ^ This length I say, I cannot go; but so far 
as the present occasion is concerned, with such means of 
observation as are within my reach, I find the conclusion 
difi&cult to resist that the success of the abolitionists in 
effecting the emancipation of the Afro-American, as un- 
expected and sweeping as it was sudden, has led to phases 
of the race problem quite unanticipated at least. For 
instance, as respects segregation. Instead of assimilating, 
with a tendency to ultimate absorption, the movement 
in the opposite direction since 1865 is pronounced. It 
has, moreover, received the final stamp of scientific 
approval. This implies much; for in the old days of 
the "peculiar institution" there is no question the rela- 
tions between the two races were far more intimate, 
kindly, and even absorptive than they now are. 

That African slavery, as it existed in the United States 
anterior to the year 1862, presented a mild form of servitude, 
as servitude then existed and immemorially had almost 
everjnvhere existed, was, moreover, incontrovertibly proven 
in the course of the Civil War. Before 1862, it was con- 
fidently believed that any severe social agitation within, 
or disturbance from without, would inevitably lead to a 
Southern servile insurrection. In Europe this result was 
assumed as of course; and, immediately after it was 
issued, the Emancipation Proclamation of President 

1 Bussell's (Dr. F. W.) " Christian Theology and Social Progress." 
Bampton Lectures, 1905. 



22 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

Lincoln was denounced in unmeasured terms by the entire 
London press. Not a voice was raised in its defence. 
It was regarded as a measure unwarranted in civilized 
warfare, and a sure and intentional incitement to the 
horrors which had attended the servile insurrections of 
Haiti and San Domingo; and, more recently, the un- 
speakable Sepoy incidents of the Indian mutiny. What 
actually occurred is now historic. The confident antici- 
pations of our English brethren were, not for the first 
time, negatived ; nor is there any page in our American 
record more creditable to those concerned than the atti- 
tude held by the African during the fierce internecine 
struggle which prevailed between April, 1861, and April, 
1865. In it there is scarcely a trace, if indeed there is 
any trace at aU, of such a condition of affairs as had 
developed in the Antilles and in Hindustan. The atti- 
tude of the African towards his Confederate owner was 
submissive and kindly. Although the armed and master- 
ful domestic protector was at the front and engaged 
in deadly, all-absorbing conflict, yet the women and 
children of the Southern plantation slept with unbarred 
doors, — free from apprehension, much more from moles- 
tation. 

Moreover, as you here well know, during the old days 
of slavery there was hardly a child bom, of either sex, 
who grew up in a Southern household of substantial 
wealth without holding immediate and most affectionate 
relations with those of the other race. Every typical 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 23 

Southern man had what he called his "daddy" and his 
"mammy," his " uncle " and his " aimty," by him famil- 
iarly addressed as such, and who were to him even closer 
than are blood relations to most. They had cared for 
him in his cradle ; he followed them to their graves. Is 
it needful for me to ask to what extent such relations 
stiU exist ? Of those born thirty years after emancipa- 
tion, and therefore belonging distinctly to a later genera- 
tion, how many thus have their kindly, if humble, kin of 
the African blood? I fancy I would be safe in sa3dng 
not one in twenty. 

Here, then, as the outcome of the first great issue I 
have suggested as occupying the thought and exciting 
the passions of that earlier period, is a problem wholly 
imanticipated, — a problem which, merely stating, I 
dismiss. 

Passing rapidly on, I come to the next political issue 
which presented itself in my youth, — the constitutional 
issue, — that of State Sovereignty, as opposed to the 
ideal, NationaHty. And, whether for better or worse, 
this issue, I very confidently submit, has been settled. 
We now, also, looking at it in more observant mood, in 
a spirit at once philosophical and historical, see that it 
involved a process of natural evolution which, under the 
conditions prevailing, could hardly result in any other 
settlement than that which came about. We now have 
come to a recognition of the fact that Anglo-Saxon nation- 
ality on this continent was a problem of crystallization, 



24 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

the working out of which occupied a Uttle over two cen- 
turies. It was in New England the process first set in, 
when, in 1643, the scattered EngKsh-speaking settle- 
ments under the hegemony of the colony of Massachusetts 
Bay vmited in a confederation. It was the initial step. 
I have no time in which to enimaerate successive steps, 
each representing a stage in advance of what went 
before. The War of Independence, — mistakenly de- 
nominated the Revolutionary War, but a struggle dis- 
tinctly conservative in character, and in no way revolu- 
tionary, — the War of Independence gave great impetus 
to the process, resulting in what was known as Federation. 
Then came the Constitution of 1787 and the formation 
of the, so called, United States as a distinct nationality. 
The United States next passed through two definite pro- 
cesses of further crystallization, — one in 1812-1814, when 
the second war with Great Britain, and more especially 
our naval victories, kindled, especially in the North, 
the fire of patriotism and the conception of nationality; 
the other, half a century later, presented the stem issue 
in a concrete form, and at last the complete unification 
of a community — whether for better or for worse is no 
matter — was hammered by iron and cemented in blood. 
It is there now ; an established fact. Secession is a lost 
cause ; and, whether for good or for iU, the United States 
exists, and will continue to exist, a unified World Power. 
Sovereignty now rests at Washington, and neither in 
Colimibia for South Carolina nor in Boston for Massachu- 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 25 

setts. The State exists only as an integral portion of the 
United States. That issue has been fought out. The 
result stands beyond controversy; brought about by a 
generation now passed on, but to which I belonged. 

Meanwhile, the ancient adage, the rose is not without 
its thorn, receives new illustration; for even this great 
result has not been wrought without giving rise to con- 
siderations suggestive of thought. Speaking tersely and 
concentrating what is in my mind into the fewest possible 
words, I may say that in our national growth up to the 
year 1830 the play of the centrifugal forces predominated, 
— that is, the necessity for greater cohesion made itself 
continually felt. A period of quiescence then followed, 
lasting until, we will say, 1865. Since 1865, it is not 
unsafe to say, the centripetal, or gravitating, force has 
predominated to an extent ever more suggestive of in- 
creasing political uneasiness. It is now, as is notorious, 
more in evidence than ever before. The tendency to 
concentrate at Washington, the demand that the central 
government, assuming one function after another, shall 
become imperial, the cry for the national enactment of 
laws, whether relating to marital divorce or to industrial 
combinations, — aU impinge on the fimdamental prin- 
ciple of local self-government, which assumed its highest 
and most pronounced form in the claim of State Sover- 
eignty. I am now merely stating problems. I am not 
discussing the political ills or social benefits which possibly 
may result from action. Nevertheless, all, I think, must 



26 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

admit that the tendency to gravitation and attraction 
is to-day as pronounced and as dangerous, especially 
in the industrial communities of the North, as was the 
tendency to separation and segregation pronounced and 
dangerous seventy years ago in the South. 

To this I shall later return. I now merely point out 
what I apprehena to be a tendency to extremes — an 
excess in the swinging of our pohtical pendulmn. 

We next come to that industrial factor which I have 
referred to as the issue between the Free Trade of Adam 
Smith and Protection, as inculcated by the so-caUed 
American school of political economists. The phases 
which this issue has assumed are, I submit, well calculated 
to excite the attention of the observant and thoughtful. 
I merely aUude to them now ; but, in so far as it is in my 
power to make it so, my allusion will be specific. I 
frankly acknowledge myself a Free-Trader. A Free- 
Trader in theory, were it in my power I would be a 
Free-Trader in national practice. There has been, so 
far as I know, but one example of absolute free trade on 
the largest scale in world history. That one example, 
moreover, has been a success as unqualified as undeni- 
able. I refer to this American Union of ours. We have 
here a coimtry consisting of fifty local commimities, 
stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from 
tropical Porto Rico to glacial Alaska, representing every 
conceivable phase of soil, climate and material condi- 
tions, with diverse industrial systems. With a Union 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 27 

established on the principle of absolutely unrestricted 
commercial intercourse, you here in South Carolina, and 
more especially in Columbia, are to-day making it, so to 
speak, uncomfortable for the cotton manufacturer in 
New England ; and I am glad of it ! A sharp competition 
is a healthy incentive to effort and ingenuity, and the 
brutal injunction, " Root hog or die! " is one from which 
I in no way ask to have New England exempt. When 
Massachusetts is no longer able to hold its own indus- 
trially in a free field, the time wiU, in my judgment, 
have come for Massachusetts to go down. With com- 
munities as with children, paternahsm reads arrested 
development. One of the great products of Massa- 
chusetts has been what is generically known as "foot- 
wear." Yet I am told that under the operation of ab- 
solute Free Trade, St. Loms possesses the largest boot 
and shoe factory in its output in the entire world. That 
is, the law of industrial development, as natural 
conditions warrant and demand, has worked out its 
results; and those results are satisfactory. I am aware 
that the farmer of Massachusetts has become practically 
extinct; he cannot face the competition of the great 
West: but the Massachusetts consumer is greatly ad- 
vantaged thereby. So far as agricultural products are 
concerned, Massachusetts is to-day reduced to what is 
known as dairy products and garden truck; and it is 
well! Summer vegetables manufactured under glass in 
winter prove profitable. So, turning his industrial 



28 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

efforts to that which he can do best, even the Massa- 
chusetts agriculturahst has prospered. On the other 
hand, wherever in this country protection has been most 
completely applied, I insist that if its results are analyzed 
in an unprejudiced spirit, it will be pronounced to have 
worked unmitigated evil, — an imhealthy, because arti- 
ficially stimulated and too rapid, growth. Let Lawrence, 
in Massachusetts, serve as an example. Look at the in- 
dustrial system there introduced in the name of Protection 
against the Pauper Labor of Europe! No growth is so 
dangerous as a too rapid growth; and I confidently 
submit that politically, socially, economically and indus- 
trially, America to-day, on the issues agitating us, pre- 
sents an ahnost appalling example of the results of hot- 
house stimulation. 

Nor is this all, nor the worst. There is another article, 
and far more damaging, in the indictment. Through 
Protection, and because of it. Paternalism has crept in ; 
and, like a huge cancerous growth, is eating steadily into 
the vitals of the political system. Instead of supporting 
a government economically administered by money con- 
tributed by the People, a majority of the People to- 
day are looking to the government for support, either 
directly through pension payments or indirectly through 
some form of industrial paternalism. Incidentally, a pro- 
fuse public expenditure is condoned where not actually 
encouraged. Jeffersonian simplicity is preached ; extrav- 
agance is practised. As the New York showman long 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 29 

since shrewdly observed: "The American people love to 
befooled!" 

But I must pass on ; I still have far to go. As respects 
legislation, I have said that sixty years ago, when my 
memories begin, the American ideal was the individual, 
and individuality. This, implied adherence to the Jef- 
fersonian theory that heretofore the world had been 
governed too much. The great secret of true national 
prosperity, happiness and success was, we were taught, 
to allow to each individual the fullest possible play, pro- 
vided only he did not infringe on the rights of others. 
How is it to-day? America is the most governed and 
legislated country in the world ! With one national law- 
making machine perpetually at work grinding out edicts, 
we have some fifty provincial mills engaged in the same 
interesting and, to my mind, pernicious work. No one 
who has given the slightest consideration to the subject 
wiU dispute the proposition that, taking America as a 
whole, we now have twenty acts of legislation annually 
promulgated, and with which we are at our peril supposed 
to be familiar, where one would more than suffice. Then 
we wonder that respect for the law shows a sensible de- 
crease ! The better occasion for wonder is that it sur- 
vives at all. We are both legislated and litigated out of 
all reason. 

Passing to the other proposition of individuality, there 
has been, as all men know and no one will dispute, a 
most perceptible tendency of late years towards what is 



30 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

known as the array of one portion of the community — 
the preponderating, voting portion — against another — 
the more ostentatious property-holding portion. It is 
the natural result, I may say the necessary as well as 
logical outcome, of a period of too rapid growth, — pro- 
duction apportioned by no rule or system other or higher 
than greed and individual aptitude for acquisition. I 
will put the resulting case in the most brutal, and conse- 
quently the clearest, shape of which I am capable. Work- 
ing on the combined theories of individuahsm controlled 
and regulated by competition, it has been one grand game 
of grab, — a process in which the whole tendency of our 
legislation, national or state, has during the last twenty 
years been, first, to create monopolies of capital and, 
later, to bring into existence a counter, but no less priv- 
ileged, class, known as the "wage-earner." 

Of the first class it is needless to speak, for, as a class, 
it is sufficiently pilloried by the press and from the hust- 
ings. Much in evidence, those prominent in it are known 
as the possessors of "predatory wealth" ; "unjailed male- 
factors," they are subjects of continuous "grilling" in 
the congressional and legislative committee rooms. The 
effort to make them "disgorge" is as continual as it is 
noisy, and, as a rule, futile. It constitutes a curious and 
in some respects instructive exhibition of misdirected 
popular feeling and legislative incompetence. None the 
less, the existence of a monopolist class calls for no proof 
at the bar of public opinion. Not so the other and even 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 31 

more privileged class, — the so-called "wage-earner"; 
for, disguise it as the trades-unionist will, angrily deny it 
as he does, the fact remains that to-day under the opera- 
tion of our jury system and of our laws, the Wage-earner 
and the member of the Trades-Union has become, as 
respects the rest of the community, himself a monopolist 
and, moreover, privileged as such. Practically, crimes 
urged and even perpetrated in behalf of so-called "labor" 
receive at the hands of juries, and also not infrequently 
of courts, an altogether excessive degree of merciful con- 
sideration. At the same time, both here and in Europe, 
Organized Labor is instant in its demand that immimity 
denied to ordinary citizens, and those whom it terms 
"the classes," shall by special exemption be conferred 
upon the Labor Union and upon the Wage-earner, The 
tendency on both sides and at each extreme to inequaUty 
in the legislature and before the law is thus manifest. 

Viewing conditions face to face and as they now are, 
no thoughtful observer can, in my judgment, avoid the 
conviction that, whether for good or iU, for better or for 
worse, this country as a commimity has, within the last 
thirty years — that is, we will say, since our centennial 
year, 1876 — cast loose from its original moorings. It 
has drifted, and is drifting, into unknown seas. Nor is 
this true of English-speaking America alone. I have 
already quoted Lord Morley in another connection. 
Lord Morley, however, only the other day delivered, as 
Chancellor of Manchester University, a most interesting 



32 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

and highly suggestive address, in which, referring to con- 
servative Great Britain, he thus pictured a phase of 
current belief: "Political power is described as l3dng 
in the hands of a vast and mobile electorate, with scanty 
regard for tradition or history. Democracy, they say, 
is going to write its own progiamme. The structure of 
executive organs and machinery is undergoing haK-hidden 
but serious alterations. Men discover a change of atti- 
tude towards law as law; a decline in reverence for in- 
stitutions as institutions." 

While, however, the influences at work are thus general 
and the manifestations whether on the other side of the 
Atlantic or here bear a strong resemblance, yet differ- 
ence of conditions and detail — constitutional peculiari- 
ties, so to speak — must not be disregarded. One form 
of treatment may not be prescribed for all. In our case, 
therefore, it remains to consider how best to adapt this 
country and ourselves to the unforeseeable, — the navi- 
gation of uncharted waters ; and this adaptation cannot 
be considered in any correct and helpful, because scien- 
tific, spirit, imless the cause of change is located. Surface 
manifestations are, in and of themselves, merely decep- 
tive. A physician, diagnosing the chances of a patient, 
must first correctly ascertain, or at least ascertain with 
approximate correctness, the seat of the trouble under 
which the patient is suffering. So, we. 

And here I must frankly confess to small respect for 
the politician, — the man whose voice is continually 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 33 

heard, whether from the Senate Chamber or the Hustings. 
There is in those of his class a continual and most notice- 
able tendency to what may best be described as the post 
ergo propter dispensation. With them, the eye is fixed on 
the immediate manifestation. Because one event pre- 
ceded another, the first event is obviously and indisputably 
the cause of the later event. For instance, in the present 
case, the cause or seat of our existing and very manifest 
social, poUtical and financial disturbances is attributed 
as of course to some peculiarity of legislation, either a 
subtreasury biU passed in the administration of General 
Jackson, or a tariff biU passed in the administration of 
Mr. Taft, or the demonetization of silver in the Hayes 
period, — that "Crime of the Century," the Crucifixion 
of Labor on the Cross of Gold! Once for all, let me say, 
I contemplate this school of politicians and so-caUed 
"thinkers" with sentiments the reverse of respectful. 
In plain language, I class them with those known in pro- 
fessional parlance as quacks and charlatans. Not always, 
not even in the majority of cases, does that which pre- 
ceded bear to that which follows the relation of cause and 
effect. A marked example of this false attribution is 
afforded in more recent poUtical history by the everlasting 
recurrence of the statement that American prosperity 
is the result of an American protective system. Yet in 
the Protectionist dispensation, this has become an article 
of faith. To my mind, it is xmdeserving of even respect- 
ful consideration. 



34 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

If I were asked the cause of that change, little short of 
revolutionary, if indeed in any respect short of it, which 
has occurred in the material condition of the American 
people, and consequently in aU its theories and ideals, 
within the last thirty years, I should attribute it to a 
wholly different cause. Mr, Lecky some years ago, in 
his book entitled "Liberty and Democracy," made the 
following statement, in no way original, but, as he put it, 
sufficiently striking: "The produce of the American 
mines [incident to the discoveries made by Columbus] 
created, in the most extreme form ever known in Europe, 
the change which beyond aU others affects most deeply 
and universally the material well-being of men : it revolu- 
tionized the value of the precious metals, and, in conse- 
quence, the price of all articles, the effects of all contracts, 
the burden of all debts." 

In other words, referring to the first half of the sixteenth 
century, — the sixty years, we will say, following the land- 
fall of Columbus, — the historian attributed the great 
change which then occurred and which stands forth so 
markedly in history, to the increased New-World produc- 
tion of the precious metals, combined with the impetus 
given to trade and industry as a consequence of that dis- 
covery, and of the mastery of man over additional globe 
areas. Now, dismissing from consideration the so-caUed 
American protective system, likewise our currency issues 
and, generally, the patchwork, so to speak, of crazy- 
quilt legislation to which so much is attributed during the 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 35 

last thirty years, I confidently submit that in the pro- 
duction of the results under discussion, they are quan- 
tities and factors hardly worthy of consideration. The 
cause of the change which has taken place lies far deeper 
and must be sought in influences of a wholly different 
nature, influences developed into an increased and still 
ever increasing activity, over which legislation has ab- 
solutely no control. I refer, of course, to man's mastery 
over the latent forces of Nature. Of these Steam and 
Electricity are the great examples, which, because always 
apparent, at once strike the imagination. These, as 
tools, it is to be remembered, date practically from within 
one hvuidred years back. It may, indeed, safely be as- 
serted that up to 1 81 5, the end of the Wars of Napoleon 
and the time of your Professor Lieber, steam even had 
not as yet practically affected the operations of man, 
while electricity, when not a terror, was as yet but a toy. 
Commerce was stfll exclusively carried on by the sailing 
ship and canal-boat. The years from the fall of Napoleon 
to our own War of Secession — from Waterloo to Gettys- 
burg — were practically those of early and partial devel- 
opment. Not untn well after Appomattox, that is, since 
the year 1870, — a period covering but little more than 
the life of a generation, — did what is known to you here 
as the Applied Sciences cover a range difi&cult to specialize. 
As factors in development, it is safe to say that those 
three tremendous agencies — Steam, Electricity, Chemis- 
try — have, so to speak, worked aU their noticeable 



36 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

restilts within the lifetime of the generation bom since 
we celebrated the Centennial of Independence. The 
manifestations now resulting and apparent to all are the 
natural outcome of the use of these modem appliances, 
become in our case everyday working tools in the hands 
of the most resourceful, adaptive, ingenious and energetic 
of commimities, developing a virgin continent of un- 
dreamed-of wealth. Naturally, under such conditions, 
the advance has been not only general and continuous, 
but one of ever increasing celerity. So Protection and 
the Currency become flies on the fast revolving wheel ! 

But what has otherwise resulted ? — An unrest, social, 
economical, political. Not contentment, but a lamenta- 
tion and an ancient tale of wrong ! We hear it in the 
continual cry over what is known as the increased cost 
of living, and feel its pressure in the higher standard of 
living. What was considered wealth by our ancestors 
is to-day hardly competence. What sufl&ced for luxury 
in our childhood barely now suppUes what are known as 
the comforts of life. Take, for instance, the motor, — 
the automobile. I speak within bounds, I think, when I 
say there are many fold more motors to-day racing over 
the streets, the highways and the byways of America 
than there were one-horse wagons thirty-five years ago. 
Six hundred, I am told, are to be found within the im- 
mediate neighborhood of Columbia; and, since I have 
been here I have seen in your streets just one man on 
horse-back! These figures and that statement tell the 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 37 

tale. A few years only back, every Carolinian rode to 
town, and the motor was unknown. A single illustrative 
example, this could be duplicated in inniunerable ways 
everywhere and in aU walks of life. 

The result is obvious, and was inevitable. Entered 
on a new phase of existence, the world is not as it was in 
the days of Columbus, when a single new continent was 
discovered containing in it what we would now regard as 
a limited accumulation of the precious metals. It is, 
on the contrary, as if, in the language of Dr. Johnson, "the 
potentiaUty of wealth" had been revealed "beyond the 
dreams of avarice "; together with not one or two, but a 
dozen continents, the existence and secrets of which are 
suddenly laid bare. The Applied Sciences have been the 
magicians, — not Protection or the Currency. 

And still scientists are continually dinning in our ears 
the question whether this state of affairs is going to con- 
tinue, — whether the era of disturbance has reached its 
limit ! I hold such a question to be little short of childish. 
That era has not reached its limits, nor has it even approxi- 
mated those limits. On the contrary, we have just en- 
tered on the imcharted sea. We know what the last thirty 
years have brought about as the result of the agencies 
at work ; but as yet we can only dimly dream of what the 
next sixty years are destined to see brought about. 
Imagination staggers at the suggestion. 

What, then, has been of this the inevitable consequence, 
— the consequence which even the blindest should have 



38 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

foreseen ? It has resulted in all those far-reaching changes 
suggested in the earlier part of what I have said to-day, 
as respects our ideals, our political theories, our social 
conditions. In other words, the old era is ended ; what 
is implied when we say a new era is entered upon ? 

To attempt a partial answer to the query implies no 
claim to a prophetic faculty. Whether we like to face 
the fact or not, far-reaching changes in our economical 
theories and social conditions are imminent, involving 
corresponding readjustments in our constitutional arrange- 
ments and poUtical machinery. Tennyson foreshadowed 
it aU in his "Locksley Hall" seventy years ago : — "The 
individual withers, and the world is more and more." 
The day of individualism as it existed in the American 
ideal of sixty years since is over; that of collectivism 
and possibly socialism has opened. The day of social 
equahty is relegated to what may be considered a some- 
what patriarchal past, — that patriarchal past having 
come to a close during the memory of those still in active 
hfe. 

And yet, though all this can now be studied in the 
political discussion endlessly dragging on, strangely and 
sadly enough that discussion carries in it hardly a note 
of encouragement. It is, in a word, unspeakably shallow. 
And here, having sufficiently for my present purpose 
though in hurried manner, diagnosed the situation, — 
located the seat of disturbance, — we come to the question 
of treatment. Involving, as it necessarily does, problems 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 39 

of the fundamental law, and a rearrangement and different 
allocation of the functions of government, this challenges 
the closest thought of the publicist. That the problem 
is here crying aloud for solution is apparent. The publi- 
cations which cumber the counters of our book-stores, 
those for which the greatest popular call to-day exists — 
treatises relating to trade interests, to collectivism, to 
socialism, even to anarchism — tell the tale in part ; in 
part it is elsewhere and otherwise told. Only recently, 
in once Piiritan Massachusetts, processions paraded the 
streets carrying banners marked with this device, more 
suggestive than strange : — "No master and no God !" 

What are the remedies popularly proposed? In that 
important branch of polity known as Political Ethics, 
or, as he termed them, Hermeneutics, which your Professor 
Lieber sixty years ago endeavored to treat of, what ad- 
vance has since his time been effected ? — Nay ! what 
advance has been effected since the time, over two thou- 
sand years, of his great predecessor, Aristotle ? I confi- 
dently submit that what progress is now being made in 
this most erudite of sciences is in the nature of that of 
the crab — backwards ! In the discussions of Aristotle, 
the problem in view was, how to bring about government 
by the wisest, — that is, the most observant and expert. 
In other words, government, the object of politics, was 
by Aristotle treated in a scientific spirit. And this is as 
it should be. Take, for example, any problem, — I do 
not care whether it is legal or medical or one of engineer- 



40 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

ing : — How successfully dispose of it ? Uniformly, in 
one way. Those problems are successfully solved, if at 
all, only when their solution is placed in the hands of the 
most proficient. Judged by the discussions of to-day, 
what advance has in politics been effected? Do the 
Outlook and the Commoner imply progress since the 
Stagirite? Not to any noticeable extent. We are, 
on the contrary, fmnbling and wallowing about where 
the Greek pondered and philosophized. 

Democracy, as it is called, is to-day the great panacea, 
— the political nostrum; as such it is confidently advocated 
by statesmen and professors and even by the presidents 
of our institutions of the advanced education. "Trust 
the People" is the shibboleth ! " Let the People rule ! " 
" The cure for too much Liberty is more Liberty ! " To 
Democracy plain and simple — Composite Wisdom — 
I frankly confess I feel no call, — no call greater than, for 
instance, towards Autocracy or Aristocracy or Plutocracy. 
Taken simply, and applied as hitherto appUed, aU and 
each lead to but one result, — failure ! And that result, 
let me here predict, will, in the future, be the same in the 
case of pure Democracy that, in the past, it was in the 
case of the pure Autocracy of the Caesars, or the case of 
the pure Aristocracy of Rome or of the so-caUed Republics 
of the Middle Ages. A political edifice on shifting sands. 

Yet, to-day what do we see and hear in America ? Tell 
it not in Gath ; publish it not in the streets of Askalon ! 
Two thousand years after the time of Aristotle, we see a 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 41 

prevailing school working directly back to the condition 
of affairs which existed in the Athenian agora under the 
disapproving eyes of the father of political philosophy. 
Panaceas, universal cure-alls, and quack remedies — the 
Initiative, the Referendum, and the Recall — are paraded 
as if these — nostrums of the mountebanks of the county 
fair — would svurely remedy the perplexing ills of new and 
hitherto unheard-of social, economical, and poUtical con- 
ditions. Democracy ! What is Democracy ? Democ- 
racy, as it is generally understood, I submit, is nothing 
but the reaching of political conclusions through the fre- 
quent coimting of noses; or, as Macaulay two generations 
ago better phrased it, " the majority of citizens told by 
the head"; — the only question at just this jimcture 
being whether, in order to the arriving at more accept- 
able results, both sexes shall be " told," instead of one 
sex only. Moreover, I with equal confidence make bold 
to suggest that while conceded, and while men have even 
persuaded themselves that' they have faith in it, and 
really do beheve in this " telling " of noses as the best 
and fairest attainable means of reaching correct results, 
yet in so doing and so professing they simply, as men are 
prone to do, deceive themselves. In other words, victims 
of their own cant, they preach a panacea in which they 
really do not beheve. Nor of this is proof far to seek. 
Vox populi, vox Dei ! If you extend the appUcation of 
this principle by a single step, its loudest advocates draw 
back in alarm from the inevitable. They seek refuge 



42 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

in the assertion — "Oh! That is different!" For in- 
stance, take a concrete case ; so best can we illustrate. 

One of the greatest scientific triumphs reached Lq mod- 
ern times — perhaps I might fairly say the greatest — 
is the discovery of the cause of yellow fever, and its con- 
sequent control. As a result of the studies, the patient 
experimentation and self -sacrifice of the wisest, — that 
is, the most observant and expert, — the amazing conclu- 
sion was reached that not only the yellow fever but the 
irmumerable ills of the flesh known under the caption of 
"malarial," were due to causes hitherto xmsuspected, 
though obvious when revealed, — to the existence in the 
atmosphere of a venomous insect, in comparison with the 
work of which the ravages on mankind of the entire carniv- 
orous and reptile creation were of comparatively small 
account. The mosquito flew disclosed, the atmospheric 
viper, — a viper most venomous and deadly. How was 
the disclosure brought about? What was the remedy 
applied? Was the discovery effected through imiversal 
suffrage ? Was the remedy sought for and decided upon 
by the Initiative, or through a Referendimi at an election 
held on the Tuesday succeeding the first Monday of a 
certain month and year ? Had recourse in this case been 
had to the panacea now in greatest political vogue, we 
all know perfectly well what would have followed. His- 
tory tells us. The quarantine, as it is called, would have 
been decreed, and a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer 
appointed. The mosquito, quite ignored, would then 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 43 

have gone on in his deadly work. We all equally well 
know that the man, even the politician or the statesman, 
who had suggested a solution of that problem by a coxmt 
of noses would have been effaced with ridicule. Even 
the most simple minded would have rejected that method 
of reaching a result. Yet the ills of the body politic, 
too, are complicated. Indeed, far more intricate in their 
processes and more deceitful in their aspects, they more 
deeply affect the general well-being and happiness than 
any ill or epidemic which torments the physical being, 
even the mosquito malaria. Yet the iUs of the body 
politic, the complications which surround us on every 
side, — for these the imfaUing panacea is said to lie in 
universal suffrage, that remedy which is immediately 
and of course laughed out of court if suggested in case of 
the simpler ills of the flesh. 

This, I submit, is demonstration. The true remedy is 
not to be sought in that direction in the one case any 
more than the other. 

There is a considerable element of truth, though possi- 
bly a not inconsiderable one of ^ exaggeration, in this 
statement from a paper I recently chanced upon in the 
issue of the sober and classical Edinburgh Review for 
October last, — a paper entitled "Democracy and Liberal- 
ism " : — " History testifies unmistakably and unanimously 
to the passion of democracies for incompetence. There 
is nothing democracy dislikes and suspects so heartily as 
technical efficiency, particularly when it is independent 



44 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

of the popular vote." But to-day, what is politically pro- 
posed by our senatorial charlatans and the mountebanks 
of the market-place ? The Referendum, the constant and 
easy Recall, the everlasting Initiative are dinned into 
our ears as the cure-alls of every ill of the body poUtic. 
On the contrary, I submit that while in the absence of 
any better method as yet devised and accepted, the pro- 
cess of reaching results by a count of the " majority told 
by the head " of the citizens then present and voting has 
certain poUtical advantages, yet, for aU this, as a final, 
scientific, political process, it is unworthy of considera- 
tion. A passing expedient, it in no degree reflects credit 
on twentieth-century intelligence. 

And now I come to the crux of my discussion. Thus 
rejecting results reached by the ballot as now in practical 
use, a query is already in the minds of those who listen. 
At once suggesting itself and flxmg in my face, it is asked 
as a pohtical poser, and not without a sneer, — What else 
or better have I to propose ? Would I advise a return 
to old and discarded methods, — Heredity, Caste, Autoc- 
racy, Plutocracy ? I respectfully submit this is a ques- 
tion no one has a right to put, and one I am not called 
upon to answer. Again, let me take a concrete case. 
Once more I appeal to the yellow fever precedent. The 
first step towards a solution of a medical, as of a political, 
problem is a correct diagnosis. Then necessarily follows 
a long period devoted to observation, to investigation 
and experiment. If, in the case of the yellow iever, 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 45 

a score of years only ago an observer had pointed out the 
nature of the disease and the manifest inadequacy of 
current theories and prevailing methods of prevention 
and treatment, do you think others would have had a 
right to turn upon him and demand that he instantly 
prescribe a remedy which should be not only complete, 
but at once recognized as such and so accepted ? In the 
present case, as I have already observed, from the days 
of Aristotle down through two and twenty centuries, men 
had been experimenting in all, to them, conceivable ways, 
on the government of the body politic, exactly as they 
experimented on the disorders of the physical body. But 
only yesterday was the source of the yellow fever, for 
instance, diagnosed and located, and the proper means 
of prevention applied. The cancer and tuberculosis are 
to-day imsolved problems. By analogy, they are in- 
viting subjects for an Initiative and a Referendum ! 
Yet would any person who to-day, standing where I stand, 
expressed a disbelief, at once total and contemptuous, 
of such a procedure as respects them, be met by a demand 
for some other panacea of immediate and guaranteed 
efficiency ? And so with the body politic. I here to-day 
am merely attempting a diagnosis, pointing out the dis- 
orders, and exposing as best I can the utter crudeness and 
insufficiency of the market-place remedies proposed. 
Have you a right, then, to turn on me, and call for some 
other prescription, warranted to cure, in place of the 
nostrums so loudly advertised by the sciolists and the 



46 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

dabblers of the day, and by me so contemptuously set 
aside? I confess I am imable to respond, or even to 
attempt a response to any such demand. I am not alto- 
gether a quack, nor is this a county fair. 

"Paracelsus," so denominated, was one of Robert 
Browning's earlier poems. In it he causes the fifteenth- 
century alchemist and forerunner of all modem phar- 
maceutical chemistry, to declare that as the result of 

long travel and much research 

" I possess 
Two sorts of knowledge; one, — vast, shadowy, 
Hints of the unbounded aim. . . . 
The other consists of many secrets, caught 
While bent on nobler prize, — perhaps a few 
Prime principles which may conduct to much: 
These last I offer." 

So, longo intervallo, I have a few suggestions, — the 
result of an observation extending, as I said at the begin- 
ning, over the lives of two generations and a connection 
with many great events in which I have borne a part, — 
a part not prominent indeed, and more generally, I ac- 
knowledge, mistaken than correct. My errors, however, 
have at least made me cautious and doubtful of my own 
conclusions. I submit them for what they are worth. 
Not much, I fear. 

What, then, would I do, were it ia my power to pre- 
scribe alterations and curatives for the ills of our Ameri- 
can body politic, of which I have spoken; or, more 
correctly, the far-reaching disturbances manifestly due 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 47 

to the agencies at work, to which I have made reference? 
Let us come at once to the point, taking the existing 
Constitution of the United States as a concrete example, 
and recognizing the necessity for its revision and read- 
justment to meet radically changed conditions, — con- 
ditions social, material, geographical, changed and still 
changing. 

It was Mr. Gladstone who, years ago, made the often- 
quoted assertion that the Constitution of the United States 
was " the most wonderfid work ever struck ofif at a given 
time by the brain and purpose of man." I do not think 
he was far wrong ; though we, of course, realize that the 
Federal Constitution was a growth and in no degree an in- 
spiration. That Constitution has through a century and 
a quarter stood the test of time and stress of war, during 
a period of almost unlimited growth of the community 
for which it was devised. It has outlasted many national- 
ities and most of the d3niasties in existence at the time of 
its adoption ; and that, too, under conditions sufi&ciently 
trying. I, therefore, regard it with profound respect; 
and, so regarding it, I would treat it with a cautious and 
tender hand. Not lightly pronouncing it antiquated, 
what changes woxild I make in it if to-morrow it were 
given me to prescribe alterations adapting it to the 
altered conditions which confront us ? I do not hesitate 
to say, and I am glad to say, the changes I would suggest 
would be limited; yet, I fancy, far-reaching. 

And, in the first place, let us have a clear conception 



48 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

of the end in view. That end is, I submit, exactly the 
same to-day which Aristotle had in view more than twenty 
centuries ago. It is, not to solve all political problems, 
but to put political problems as they arise in the hands 
of those whom he termed the "best," — but whom we 
know as the most intelligent, observant and expert, — 
to be, through their agency, in the way of ultimate solu- 
tion. If, adopting every iU-considered and hah-fledged 
measure of so-called reform which might be the fancy of 
the day, we incorporated them in our fundamental law, 
but one thing could restdt therefrom, — ultimate con- 
fusion. The Constitution is neither a legislative crazy- 
quilt nor a receptacle of fads. To make it such is in every 
respect the reverse of scientific. The work immediately 
in hand, therefore, is to devise such changes in the fun- 
damental law as will tend most effectually to bring about 
the solution of issues as they may arise, by the most ex- 
pert, observant and reliable. This accomplished, if 
its accomplishment were only practicable, all possible 
would have been done; and the necessary and inevitable 
readjustment of things would, in politics as in medicine 
and in science, be left to solve itself as occasion arose. 
Provision cannot be made against every contingency. 

This premised, the Constitution of the United States 
is an instrument through which powers are delegated by 
several local communities to a central government. The 
instrument, it was originally held, shotdd be strictly con- 
strued and the powers delegated limited ; and in this re- 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 49 

spect, with certain alterations made obviously necessary 
to meet changed conditions, I would return to the fun- 
damental idea of the framers. 

In saying this I feel confidence also that here in South 
Carohna at least I shall meet with an earnest response. 
The time is not yet remote when local self-government 
worked salvation for South Carolina, as for her sister 
States of the Confederacy. You here wiU never forget 
what immediately followed the close of our Civil War. 
As an historic fact, the Constitution was then suspended. 
It was suspended by act of an irresponsible Congress, 
exercising revolutionary but unlimited powers over a 
large section of the common coimtry. You then had an 
illustration, not soon to be forgotten, of concentration 
of legislative power. An episode at once painful and dis- 
creditable, it is not necessary here to refer to it in detail. 
Appeal, however, was made to the principle of local self- 
government, — it was, so to speak, a recurrence to the 
theory of State Sovereignty. The appeal struck a re- 
sponsive, because traditional, chord ; and it was through 
a recurrence to State Sovereignty as the agency of local 
self-government that loyalty and contentment were re- 
stored, and, I may add, that I am here to-day. Ceasing 
to be a Military Department, South CaroHna once more 
became a State. Not improbably the demand will in a not 
remote future be heard that State lines and local auton- 
omy be practically obhterated. In that event, I feel 
a confident assurance that, recurring in memory to the 



so "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

evil days which followed 1865, the spirit of enlightened 
conservatism will assert itself here and in the sister States 
of what was once the Confederacy; and again it will 
prevail. In the future, as in the past, you in South Caro- 
lina at least will cUng to what in 1876 proved the ark of 
your social and poUtical salvation. 

Taking another step in the discussion of changes, the 
Constitution is founded on that well-known distribution 
and allocation of powers first theoretically suggested by 
Montesquieu. There is a division, accompanied by a 
mutual limitation of authority, through the Judiciary, 
the Executive, and the Legislative. As respects this allo- 
cation, how would I modify that instrument? I freely 
say that the tendency of my thought, based on observa- 
tion, is to conservatism. I have never yet in a single in- 
stance found that when the people of this or any other 
country accustomed to parliamentary government de- 
sired a thing, they failed to obtain it within a reasonable 
limit of time. Hasty changes are wisely deprecated ; but 
I think I speak within hmitation when I say that neither in 
the history of Great Britain, — the mother of Parliaments 
— nor in the history of the United States, has any modifica- 
tion which the people, on sober second thought, have con- 
sidered to be for the best, long been deferred. Action, rev- 
olutionary in character, has not, as a rule, been needful, or, 
when taken, proved salutary. This is a record and result 
that no careful student of our history will, I take it, deny. 

Such being the case, so far as our Judiciary is concerned. 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 51 

I do not hesitate to say I would adhere to older, and, as 
I think, better principles, or revert to them where they 
have been experimentally abandoned. It took the Anglo- 
Saxon race two centuries of incessant conflict to wrest 
from a despotic executive, practically an autocracy, judi- 
cial independence. That was effected through what is 
known as a tenure during good behavior, as opposed to a 
tenure at the will of the monarch. This, then, for two 
centuries, was accepted as a fundamental principle of 
constitutional government. Of late, a new theory has 
been propounded, and by those chafing at all restraint — 
constitutionally lawless in disposition — it is said the 
Recall should also be appUed to the Judiciary. Having, 
therefore, wrested the independence of the Judiciary from 
the hand of the Autocrat, we now propose to place it, 
in all trustfulness, in the hands of the Democrat. To me 
the proposition does not commend itself. It is founded 
on no correct principle, for the irresponsible democratic 
majority is even more liable to ill-considered and vacillat- 
ing action than is the responsible autocrat. In that mat- 
ter I would not trust myself ; why, then, should I trust 
the composite Democrat ? In the case of the Judiciary, 
therefore, I would so far as the fundamental law is con- 
cerned abide by the older and better considered principles 
of the framers. 

Next, the Executive. Again, we hear the demand of 
Democracy, — the Recall ! Once more I revert to the 
record. This Republic has now been in working operation, 



52 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

and, taken altogether, most successful operation, for a 
century and a quarter. During that century and a quar- 
ter we have had, we will say, some five and twenty differ- 
ent chief magistrates. There is an ancient and some- 
what vulgar adage to the effect that the proof of a certain 
dietary article is in its eating. Apply that homely adage to 
the matter under consideration. What is the lesson taught ? 
It is simply this, — during a whole century and a quarter 
of existence there has not been one single chief executive 
of the United States to whom the arbitrary Recall could 
have been applied with what would now be agreed upon 
as a fortunate result. In the Andrew Johnson impeach- 
ment case was it not better that things were as they were ? 
On the other hand, every one of the seven independent, 
self-respecting Senators who then by a display of high 
moral courage saved the coimtry from serious prejudice 
would have been recalled out-of-hand had the Recall now 
demanded been in existence. Its working would have 
received prompt exemplification; as it was, the recall was 
effected in time, and after due deliberation. The delay 
occasioned no public detriment. In this life, experience 
is undeniably worth something; and the experience here 
referred to is fairly entitled to consideration. No poUtical 
system possible to devise is wholly above criticism, — not 
open to exceptional contingencies or to dangers possible 
to conjure up. Such have from time to time arisen in the 
past ; in the future such will inevitably arise. This con- 
sideration must, however, be balanced against a general 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 53 

average of successf vil working ; and I confidently submit 
that, weighing thus the proved advantage of the system we 
have against the possibilities of danger which hereafter may 
occur, but which never yet have occurred, the scale on which 
are the considerations in favor of change kicks the beam. 
In view, however, of the growth of the coimtry, the 
vastly iQcreased complexity of interests involved, the 
intricacy and the cost of the election processes to which 
recourse is necessarily had, I would substitute for the pres- 
ent brief tenure of the presidential ofl&ce — a tenure well 
enough perhaps in the comparatively simple days which 
preceded our Civil War — a tenure sufficiently long to en- 
able the occupant of the presidential chair to have a policy 
and to accomplish at least somethuig towards its adoption. 
As the case stands to-day, a President for the first time 
elected has during his term of four years, one year, and one 
year only, in which really to apply himself to the accom- 
plishment of results. The first year of his term is neces- 
sarily devoted to the work of acquiring a familiarity with 
the machinery of the government, and the shaping of a 
policy. The second year may be devoted to a more or 
less strenuous effort at the adoption of the policy thus 
formulated. As experience shows, the action of the third 
and foxirth years is gravely affected — if not altogether 
perverted from the work in hand — by what are known as 
the political exigencies incident to a succession. Mani- 
festly, this calls for correction. The remedy, however, 
to my mind, is obvious and suggests itself. As the presi- 



54 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

dency is the one office under our Constitution national in 
character, and in no way locally representative, I would 
extend the term to seven years, and render the occu- 
pant of the office thereafter ineUgible for reelection. 
Seven years is, I am aware, under oui political system, 
an unusual term; and here my ears will, I know, be as- 
sailed by the great " mandate " cackle. The count of 
noses being complete, the mind of the composite Demo- 
crat is held to be made up. It only remains to formulate 
the consequent decree; and, with least possible delay, 
put it in way of practical enforcement. Again, I, as a 
publicist, demur. It is the old issue, that between 
instant action and action on second thought, presented 
once more. Briefly, the experience of sixty years 
strongly inclines me to a preference of matured and 
considerate action over that immediate action which 
notoriously is in nine cases out of ten as ill-advised as it 
is precipitate. Only in the field of politics is the ex- 
pediency of the latter assumed as of course; yet, as in 
science and literature and art so in politics, final, because 
satisfactory, results are at best but slowly thrashed out. 
As respects wisdom, the modem statute book does not 
loom, monumental. Its contemplation would indeed 
perhaps even lead to a surmise that reasonable delay in 
formulating his "mandate" might, in the case of the 
composite Democrat as in that of the individual Auto- 
crat, prove a not altogether unmixed, and so in the end 
an intolerable, evil. 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 55 

Thus while a change of the Executive and Legislative 
branches of the government might not be always simul- 
taneously effected, by selecting seven years as the presi- 
dential term the election would be brought about, as fre- 
quently as might be, by itself, uncompUcated by local 
issues connected with the fortunes or poUtical fate of 
individual candidates for ofl&ce, whether State, Con- 
gressional, or Senatorial; and during the seven years 
of tenure, four, at least, it might reasonably be anticipated, 
would be devoted to the promotion of a definite policy, 
in place of one year in a term of four, as now. If also 
ineligible for reelection, there is at least a fair presumption 
that the occupant of the position might from start to 
finish apply himself to its duties and obligations, with- 
out being distracted therefrom by ulterior personal ends 
as constantly as humanly held in view. 

Having thus disposed of the Judiciary and the Execu- 
tive, we come to the Legislative. And here I submit is 
the weak point in our American system, — manifestly 
the weak point, and to those who, like myself, have had 
occasion to know, imdeniably so. I am here as a publicist ; 
not as a writer of memoirs : so, on this head, I do not now 
propose to dilate or bear witness. I will only briefly 
say that having at one period, and for more than the life- 
time of a generation, been in charge of large corporate 
and financial interests, I have had much occasion to deal 
with legislative bodies. National, State and Municipal. 
That page of my experiences is the one I care least to re- 



56 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

call, and would most gladly forget. I am not going to 
specify, or give names of either localities or persons ; but, 
knowing what I know, it is useless to approach me on this 
topic with the usual good-natured and optimistic, if 
somewhat unctuous and conventional, commonplaces on 
general uprightness and the tendency to improved con- 
ditions and a higher standard. I know better ! I have 
seen legislators bought like bullocks — they selling them- 
selves. I have watched them cover their tracks with a 
cunning more than vulpine. I have myself been black- 
mailed and sandbagged, while whole legislative bodies 
watched the process, fully cognizant at every step of what 
was going on. This, I am glad to say, was years ago. 
The legislative conditions were then bad, scandalously 
bad ; nor have I any reason to believe in a regeneration 
since. The stream will never rise higher than its source ; 
but it generally indicates the level thereof. In this case, 
I can only hope that in my experience it failed so to do. 
Running at a low level, the waters of that stream were 
deplorably dirty. 

That the legislative branch of our government has fallen 
so markedly in public estimation is not, I thiiik, open to 
denial. To my mind, under the conditions I have re- 
ferred to, such could not fail to be the case. It has, con- 
sequently, lost public confidence. Hence this popular 
demand for immediate legislation by the People, — this 
twentieth-century appeal to the Agora and Forum methods 
which antedate the era of Christ. It is true the world 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 57 

outgrew them two thousand years ago, and they were 
discarded; but, hving in a progressive and not a reac- 
tionary period, all that, we are assured, is changed! 
The heart is no longer on the right-hand side of the body. 
To secure desired results it is only necessary to start quite 
fresh, as a mere preliminary discarding all lessons of ex- 
perience. 

Such reasoning does not commend itself to my judg- 
ment. On the contrary, the failure of the American 
legislative to command an increasing pubUc confidence, 
while both natural and obvious, is, if my observation 
guides me to conclusions in any degree correct, traceable 
to two reasons. So far as government is concerned, the 
law-making branch is assumed to be made up of the wisest 
and the most expert. Meanwhile, it is as a matter of 
fact chosen by the process I have not over-respectfully 
referred to as the counting of noses; and, moreover, 
by an unwritten law more binding than any in the Statute 
Book, that counting of noses is with us localized. In 
other words, when it comes to the choice of our law- 
makers, reducing provincialism to a system we make the 
local numerical majority supreme, and any one is con- 
sidered competent to legislate. He can do that, even 
if by common knowledge he is incompetent or imtrust- 
worthy in every other capacity. Localization thus be- 
comes the stronghold of mediocrity, the sure avenue to 
office of the second- and third-rate man, — he who wishes 
always to enjoy his share of a little brief authority, 



58 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" ^ 

to have, he also, a taste of pubKc life. ^In this respect our 
American system is, I submit, manifestly and incom- 
parably inferior to the system of parliamentary election 
existing in Great Britain, itself open to grave criticism. 
In Great Britain the public man seeks the constituency 
wherever he can find it; or the constituency seeks its 
representative wherever it recognizes him. The present 
Prime Minister of Great Britain, for instance, represents 
a small Scotch constituency in which he never resided, 
but by which he was elected more than twenty years ago, 
and through which he has since consecutively remaiued 
in pubhc Ufe. On the other hand, look at the waste and 
extravagance of the system now and traditionally in use 
with us. To get into pubhc life a man must not only 
be in sympathy with the majority of the citizens of the 
locality in which he lives, but he must continue to be in 
sympathy with that majority ; or, at any election, like 
Mr. Cannon in the election just held, where for any 
passing cause a majority of his neighbors in the locaUty 
in which he lives may fail to support him, he must 
go into retirement. I cannot here enlarge on this topic, 
vital as I see it ; I have neither space nor time, and must, 
therefore, needs content myself with the "hints" of 
Paracelsus. I will merely say that as an outcome this 
locahzed majority system practically disfranchises the 
more intelligent and the more disinterested, the more 
individual and independent of every constituency. It 
reduces their influence, and negatives their action. It 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 59 

operates in like fashion everywhere. My field of 
observation has been at home, here in America ; but it 
has been the same in France. For instance, while pre- 
paring this address I came across the following in that 
most respectable sheet, the London Athenaeum. A very 
competent Frenchman was there criticising a recent book 
entitled "Idealism in France." Reference was by him 
made to what, in France, is known as the " scrutin 
d'arrondissement," or, in other words, the district repre- 
sentative system. The critic declares that this system 
has there "created a party machine which has brought 
the country imder the sway of a sort of Radical-Socialist 
Tammany, and boimd together the voter and the deputy 
by a tie of mutual corruption, the candidate promising 
Government favors to the elector in return for his vote, 
and the elector supporting the candidate who promises 
most. Hence a poUcy in which ideas and ideals are 
forgotten for personal and local interests, as each candi- 
date strives to outbid his rivals in the bribes that he 
offers to his constituents. Hence, finally, a general 
lowering in the tone of French home politics, every ques- 
tion being made subservient by the deputies to that of 
their reelection." 

I would respectfully inquire if the above does not apply 
word for word to the condition of affairs with which we 
are familiar in America. 

But let me here again cite a concrete case, still fresh 
in memory; nothing in abstract discussion teUs so 



6o "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

much. Take the late Carl Schurz. If there was one 
man in our public life since 1865 who showed a genius 
for the parliamentary career, and who in six short years 
in the United States Senate — a single term — displayed 
there constructive legislating quahties of the highest 
order, it was Carl Schurz. Yet at the end of that 
single senatorial term, for local and temporary reasons 
he failed to obtain the support of a majority, or the 
support of anything approaching a majority, of those 
composing the constituency upon which he depended. 
Consequently he was retired from that parKamentary po- 
sition necessary for the accompUshment, through him, of 
best public resvilts. Yet at that very time there was no 
man m the United States who commanded so large and 
so personal a constituency as Carl Schurz ; for he repre- 
sented the entire Germanic element in the United States. 
Distributed as that element was, however, with its vote 
localized xmder our law, imwritten as well as statutory, 
there was no possibility of any constituency so concen- 
trating itself that Carl Schurz covdd be kept in the posi- 
tion where he could continue to render services of the 
greatest possible value to the covmtry. I, therefore, 
confidently here submit a doubt whether hmnan ingenuity 
could devise any system calculated to lead to a greater 
waste of parhamentary ability, or more effectually keep 
from the front and position of influence that legislative 
superiority which was the aim of Aristotle to secure. 
"Cant-patriotism," as your Francis Lieber termed it; 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 6l 

and, on this score, he waxed eloquent. " Do we not live 
in a world of cant," he wrote from Columbia here to a 
friend at the North seventy-five years ago, " that cant- 
patriotism which plumes itself in selecting men from 
within the State confines only. The truer a nation is, the 
more essentially it is elevated, the more it disregards 
petty considerations, and takes the true and the good 
from whatever quarter it may come. Look at history 
and you find the proof. Look around you, where you 
are, and you find it now." And, were Lieber living to-day, 
he would find a striking exemplification of the conse- 
quences of a total and systematic disregard of this ele- 
mentary proposition in studying the United States Senate 
from and through its reporters' gaUery. The decline in 
the standards of that body, whether of aspect, intelli- 
gence, education or character, under the operation of the 
local primary has been not less pronounced than startling. 
The outcome and ripe result of "cant-patriotism," it 
affords to the ciudous observer an impressive object-lesson, 
— provincialism reduced to a political system ; what a 
witty and incisive French writer has recently termed the 
" Cult of Incompetence." Speaking of conditions pre- 
vailing not here but in France, this observer says: — 
" Democracy in its modem form chooses its delegates in 
its own image. . . . What ought the character of the 
legislator to be ? The very opposite, it seems to me, of 
the democratic legislator, for he ought to be weU-inf ormed 
and entirely devoid of prejudice." Taken as a whole. 



62 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

and a few striking individual exceptions apart, are those 
composing the Senate of the United States conspicuous 
in these respects ? They certainly do not so impress the 
casual observer. That, as a body, they increasingly 
fail to command confidence and attention is matter of 
common remark. Nor is the reason far to seek. It 
would be the same as respects literature, science and art, 
were their representatives chosen and results reached 
through a count of noses localized, with selection severely 
confined to home talent. 

I am well aware of the criticism which will at once be 
passed on what I now advance. Local representation 
through choice by numerical majorities within given con- 
fines, geographically and mathematically fixed, is a system 
so rooted and intrenched in the convictions and tradi- 
tions of the American commimity that even to question 
its wisdom evinces a lack of political common-sense. 
It in fact resembles nothing so much as the attempt 
to whistle down a strongly prevailing October wind 
from the West. The attempt so to do is not prac- 
tical politics ! In reply, however, I would suggest that 
such a criticism is wholly irrelevant. The pubUcist has 
nothing to do with practical politics. It is as if it were 
objected to a physician who prescribed sanitation against 
epidemics that the commxmity in question was by custom 
and tradition wedded to filth and surface-drainage, and 
could not possibly be induced to abandon them in favor 
of any new-fangled theories of soap-and-water cleanli- 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 63 

ness. So why waste time in prescribing such ? Better 
be common-sensed and practical, taking things as 
they are! In the case suggested, and confronted with 
such criticism, the medical adviser simply shrugs his 
shoulders, and is silent; the alternative he knows is 
inescapable. After a sufficiency of sovuid scoiurgings 
the objecting commxmity will probably know better, and 
may listen to reason ; in a way, conforming thereto. So, 
also, the body politic. If Ephraim is indeed thus joined to 
idols, the pubUcist simply shrugs his shoulders, and passes 
on ; possibly, after Ephraim has been sufficiently scourged, 
he may in that indefinite future popularly known as " one 
of these days" be more clear sighted and wiser. 

None the less, so far as our national parliamentary 
system is concerned, could I have my way in a revision 
of the Constitution, I would increase the senatorial term 
to ten years, and I would, were such a thing within the 
range of possibility, break down the system of the neces- 
sary senatorial selection by a State of an inhabitant of the 
State. If I could, I would introduce the British system. 
For example, though I never voted for Mr. Bryan and 
have not been in general sympathy with Mr. Roosevelt, 
yet few things would give me greater political satisfac- 
tion than to see Mr. Bryan, we will say, elected a Senator 
from Arizona or Oregon, Mr. Roosevelt elected from 
Illinois or Pennsylvania, President Taft from Utah or 
Vermont. They apparently best represent existing feel- 
ings and the ideals prevailing m those conamunities ; 



64 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

why, then, should they not voice those feelings and ideals 
in our highest parUamentary chamber? 

As respects our House of Representatives, it would 
in principle be the same. I do not care to go into the 
rationale of what is known as proportional representation, 
nor have I time so to do ; but, were it in my power, I 
would prescribe to-morrow that hereafter the national 
House of Representatives should be constituted on the 
proportional basis, — the choice of representatives to be 
by States, but, as respects the nomination of candidates, 
irrespective of district lines. Like many others, I am very 
weary of provincial nobodies, " good men " locally known 
to be such! 

As I have already said, in parliamentary government all 
depends in the end on the truly representative character of 
the legislative body. If that is as it should be, the rest 
surely follows. The objective of Aristotle is attained. 

Exceeding the limits assigned to it, my discussion has, 
however, extended too far. I must close. One word 
before so doing. Why am I here ? I am here, — a man 
considerably exceeding in age the allotted threescore and 
ten — to deliver a message, be the value of the same 
greater or less. I greatly fear it is less. I would, however, 
impart the lessons of an experience stretching over sixty 
years, — the residts of such observation as my intelU- 
gence has enabled me to exercise. I do so, addressing 
myself to a local institution of the advanced education. 
Why? Because, looking over the country, diagnosing 



"'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 6$ 

its conditions as well as my capacity enables me, observ- 
ing the evolution of the past and forecasting, in so far 
as I may, the outcome, I am persuaded that the future 
of the country rests more largely in the hands of such 
institutions as this than in those of any other agency or 
activity. Do not say I flatter ; for, while I can hope for 
no advancement, I think I have not overstated the case ; 
I certainly have not overstated my conviction. There 
has been no man who has influenced the course of modem 
thought more deeply and profoundly than Adam Smith, 
a Professor in a Scotch University of the second class. 
So here in Columbia seventy years ago, Francis Lieber 
prepared and published his "Manual of Political Ethics." 
Adam Smith and Francis Lieber were but prototypes — 
examples of what I have in mind. The days were 
when the Senate of the United States afforded a rostnun 
from which thinkers and teachers first formulated, and 
then advanced, great poUcies. Those days, and I say 
it regretfully, are past. Unless I am greatly mistaken, 
however, a new poUtical force is now asserting itself. I 
have recently, at a meeting of historical and scientific as- 
sociations in Boston, had my attention forcibly called 
to this aspect of the situation now shaping itself. I there 
met young men, many, and not the least noticeable of 
whom, came from this section. They inspired me with 
a renewed confidence in our poUtical future. Essentially 
teachers, — I might add, they were publicists as well as 
professors. Observers and students, they actively followed 



66 "'TIS SIXTY YEARS SINCE" 

the course of developing thought in Europe as in this coun- 
try. Exact in their processes, philosophical and scientific in 
their methods, unselfish in their devotion, they were broad 
of view. It is for them to realize in a futiire not remote 
the University ideal pictured, and correctly pictured, from 
this stage by one who here preceded me a short six months 
ago. They, constituting the University, are the "hope 
of the State in the direction of its practical affairs; in 
teaching the lawyer the better standards of his profes- 
sion, his duty to place character above money making ; 
in teaching the legislator the philosophy of legislation, 
and that the constructive forces of legislation carefully 
considered should precede every effort to change an 
existing status; in teaching those in official life, execu- 
tive and judicial, that demagogy, and theories of Ufe 
uncontrolled by true principles, do not make for success, 
when final success is considered, but that, if they did 
lead to success, they should be avoided for their inherent 
imperfection. . . . The province of the University is 
to educate citizenship in the abstract." 

It is the presence of this class, to those composing which 
I bow as distinctly of a period superior to mine, that you 
owe my presence to-day, — whatever that presence 
may be worth. I regard their existence and their coming 
forward in such institutions as this University of South 
Carolina, as the arc of the bow of promise spanning the 
political horizon of our future. 

Through you, to them my message is addressed. 



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